From green living expos to sustainable fashion conferences, environmental trade shows are gaining quite a loyal following … and raising the bar for event marketers everywhere. But can your trade show display pass the green technology test?
Sustainability-Themed Events Draw Large Crowds
As trade show attendee stats will attest, sustainability and green technology events have become extremely popular around the globe. GreenTech Amsterdam, for example, is attended by nearly 10,000 business professionals annually. Likewise, the GreenBuild Conference and Expo sees over 20,000 visitors. EcoBuild, the UK’s largest green building event, brings in more than 30,000 people.
Even in the world of high fashion — for which overseas clothing manufacturers produce vast amounts of toxic pollution — thought leaders are pushing the sustainability envelope. At the Copenhagen Fashion Summit, the world’s largest event on sustainability in fashion, over 1,200 top executives from the clothing industry convene each year to discuss green technology solutions.
How Going Green Guarantees You a Seat at the Popular Table
As you might imagine, the rules for exhibiting at a green business expo can be quite strict, but once you’ve upgraded your trade show display to be 100% environmentally friendly, you’ll appreciate the freedom of being able to exhibit at any show anywhere, be it green or not.
Here are a few guidelines for ensuring that your display is indeed eco green:
- Booth Lighting – Use LED, compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs), T-5 or T-8 tubular fluorescent lighting only.
- Electronics – Computer monitors and media screens should display the ENERGY STAR logo and should be shut down or put into sleep mode during non-expo hours.
- Flooring – Carpeting should be Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) Green Label Plus Certified; other flooring should be made of 25% post-consumer recycled material and be 100% recyclable.
- Booth Graphics and Signage – Graphics and signage (including fabric graphics) should contain a minimum of 25% recycled material; avoid foam core and PVC materials.
- Booth Structure – Pop up displays and booth structural support materials should contain a minimum of 25% recycled content and be 100% recyclable.
- Marketing Collateral – Brochures, business cards, and other marketing pieces should be printed on 100% recyclable paper that contains 100% post-consumer recycled content or FSC-Certified content; avoid laminated or coated papers.
- Air Quality – Booth materials, such as flooring, counters, and paneling, should be third-party certified as low or zero VOC.
- Shipping Methods – Use a shipping partner who participates in the U.S. EPA’s SmartWay Partnership Program and/or purchase carbon offsets to cover all emissions resulting from the shipment of booth materials to and from the show.
- Shipping Materials – Use renewable materials containing 50% recycled content; avoid polystyrene packaging materials (i.e., packing peanuts, #6 or foam plastic, etc.).
- Water Reclamation – If water is used at your booth, be sure to recycle it after the show instead of dumping it down the drain.
- Waste Management – Do not throw away any unused materials at the show; all materials should be shipped back to the home office.
- Food and Beverage Service – If any food or beverage is to be served at your exhibit, be sure to use only compostable or recyclable serving ware.